Derby-Shelton Rotary gives helping hand to Echo Hose Ambulance

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — Echo Hose Ambulance helps hundreds of people every year. This past Saturday, the organization was the one receiving aid.

Members of the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club spent their Day of Service creating a mock training room at Echo Hose Ambulance’s training center off Coram Avenue. The club also obtained grant funds to purchase desks for the main EMS headquarters off Meadow Street.

“Our club brainstormed to come up with a project that would have a lasting and meaningful impact on the community,” club president Julie Blakeman said. “We reached out to our friends at Echo Hose (Ambulance) to see if there were any areas we might be able to assist.”

Turns out, there numerous areas the club’s help was needed.

“Boy oh boy did they have a list,” Blakeman added.

Club members spent Saturday altering a classroom into a training room for future EMS students. This room will have a mock bathroom and mock bedroom. These two rooms are the most common places EMS workers find hurt or immobile citizens who need to be safely transported to hospitals.

Echo Hose Ambulance Corps Chief Michael Chaffee said the club’s projects will help the nonprofit with its operations and training initiatives.

“The students will benefit from hands-on training that includes moving a patient without doing more harm, looking for possible medications the patient has taken, learning ways to identify how long they might have been there,” Blakeman said.

Joe Laucella, assistant chief of Echo Hose Ambulance, praised the Rotary Club members for their efforts Saturday.

The Derby-Shelton Rotary has been working with members of Echo Hose Ambulance to help design, paint and build the new training simulation room, Laucella said.

“When the project is complete, the training center will have a simulated bedroom, bathroom and family room where EMS students and providers can enhance their patient care skills and learn to safely extricate patients from different locations within a home,” Laucella said.

Chaffee said the simulation room will give students a more realistic approach to patient care and the various situations local EMS crews encounter on an emergency response.

“We work hard to provide the highest-level training for our responders and this will elevate our ability to deliver on that goal,” Chaffee said.

Blakeman said the club also wrote a grant proposal to the Rotary District to purchase a portion of the items, while the Rotarians spent time painting the walls.

The Rotary Club also provided financial grant assistance to also help purchase a new conference table and computer workstations for the EMS headquarters.

Chaffee said the club helped install some needed updates to the headquarters' conference room where EMS members host meetings, briefings, interviews, training, and many other operational and administrative tasks.

The new equipment includes a new conference table with stations set up for power and technology and desks and shelving in the room that will improve the layout and functionality.

“This will greatly enhance our efficiency on a day-to-day basis on many levels,” Chaffee added.

“We are grateful to all the members of the Rotary Club for their help designing, painting and purchasing the necessary equipment for our service,” Laucella added.

The Derby-Shelton Rotary efforts were part of a national Day of Service for local Rotary clubs.